Cardinals rough up Mike Pelfrey
Pelfrey gave up consecutive homers to Colby Rasmus(notes) and Ryan Ludwick(notes) in a three-run third inning and another home run to Albert Pujols(notes) in the fifth, and the St. Louis Cardinals used a 19-hit attack to beat New York 10-5 Sunday.
“He’s got to get the ball down and work more in,” Manuel said. “He had a pretty good slider and split and sinker. His location has to be better and he has to keep it down.
“But I think he did some good things,” Manuel said.
The right-hander allowed six runs and 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings. Pelfrey tossed 104 pitches in his longest spring outing.
Pelfrey was effective through two scoreless innings before St. Louis struck for three in the second.
Then Rasmus hit an opposite-field, wind-aided homer that bounced off the light tower in left field for a 2-0 lead. Ludwick, the next batter, connected on the 12th pitch of his at-bat on a towering shot that landed beyond a party tent behind the left field fence.
Pujols added a homer to straightaway center field two innings later for a 4-2 St. Louis lead.
“The home runs were four-seam fastballs. I’m not too worried about it,” Pelfrey said. “Those pitches aren’t used to get groundballs. My secondary stuff was good and I got to my pitch count.”
Pelfrey said he used his hard, sinking fastball to get outs in the first two innings, then turned to the four-seam and split-finger pitches the rest of the game.
“I’m using a lot more secondary stuff and trying to get comfortable with it. And I threw some of those pitches behind in the count. Looking back on today, the one thing I didn’t do was come inside enough,” he said. “It was a good day.”
The 26-year-old pitcher said he wouldn’t put too much stock in the results.
“In 2007 I had my best Spring ever and made the team, then I wound up going 0-7 in the regular season,” he said.
NOTES: Ludwick left the game after hitting in the third inning. He fouled two balls off his shin. … Mets 1B Daniel Murphy(notes) finished 0 for 4 after he was robbed of potential hits by three outstanding defensive plays—two of them diving. … Manuel said the final bench spot on the team “is too close to call” and would depend on how the rest of the team is made up. … Manuel also stressed that whoever wins the starting center field position—Gary Matthews Jr.(notes) or Angel Pagan—would force the other to find reps elsewhere.